Press release 10, December 2018

In a funeral of Buddhist monk on 27th November, Myanmar Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko had desecrated Islam labelling it extremist religion and insulted the Muslims accusing them of marrying 3-4 wives, at a time, and producing 15-20 children. He senselessly said the Buddhists will become a minority in Myanmar within 30 to 50 years.  

On December 4, when asked by reporters in a conference in Nay Pyi Taw to clarify what his remarks on Islam and Muslims meant, U Aung Ko said, 

“The other major religion I have specifically meant is the religion of Bengalis who have fled from Northern Rakhine State, not the country’s Muslims. In refugee camps, Bengali youths are indoctrinated to march to Rakhine State and Myanmar. The future design of the Bengalis is to invade Myanmar as they are living in severely overcrowded conditions. Even now they are demanding territory like Safe Zone, then they will ask for No-Fly Zone. Again, full security must be guaranteed to them under the supervision of UN and OIC, not the Myanmar government. Bangladesh does not want a decrease in Bengali population in Rakhine State. Refugees are being organized to invade Rakhine State.  In the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested international assistance for one million refugees, but it is being consumed and distributed among them…”

We strongly denounce this baseless and rude statement of Thura U Aung Ko that insulted not only the religion of Islam, Rohingyas and Bengalis but also dishonoured Bangladesh and her prime minister. The statement of U Aung Ko was made with intent to spread hate speech against Islam and Rohingya people in Myanmar. It substantiates that he has directly involved in genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing committed against Rohingya people. 

Myanmar government has full responsibility to take action against its minister U Aung Ko, who is required to offer apologies for such unwarranted and rude remark against Rohingya people, as well as, neighbouring Bangladesh and its people.  

U Aung Ko had established the 969 Buddhist extremist group in order to provoke and carry out killings and deadly violence against the Muslims in the country. He has been working hand and glove with the extremist Buddhist monk U Wirathu, who preached hate speech and violence across the country (as against the teachings of Lord Buddha) earning bad name for Buddhism. 

Hate speeches, attacks on Islam and Muslim communities had increased when U Aung Ko became Deputy Religious Minister in 2011 under former President U Thein Sein. On the first day of his appointment, in April 2016, as the Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture in Aung San Suu Kyi’s cabinet, he fatuously stated that Muslims were not citizens but associate citizens of Myanmar. 

In Myanmar, so long religious extremist and racist like U Aung Ko exists, all ethnic nationalities and minorities, particularly the Muslim communities, are unsafe and there will be no solution to the internal conflicts while posing threat to peace and stability in South Asia and Southeast Asia. 

For more details, please contact:
Australia: Dr. Hla Myint         +61-423381904
Bangladesh: Ko Ko Linn:      +880-1726068413
Canada: Nur Hasim              +1-5195725359
Japan: Zaw Min Htut             +81-8030835327
U.K. Ronnie:                          +44-7783118354
U.S.A: Dr. Habibullah:           +1-4438158609